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 Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA? 
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
You seem to agree with my point, although you always start out dubitative and convince yourself as your post develops. Its' very gratifying to have your approbation! :)

One has to remember of course that the French revolution came first, so one can compare the Russian communists to the French revoltuionary committees and not vice versa. The "sans culottes" laid the foundations for this kind of Stalinist behaviour, quite clearly. The Russian Bolcheviks openly claimed this heritage, singing French revolutionary songs as they left Smolny on their marches. Many elements are similar: the Committee structures and appartenance to a "sector" or 'district", linguistic similarities with the 'citizen" being later adapted to the Russian 'grasdanin" and the outlawing of "Monsieur" and "Madame" as forms of address, the instigation and encouragement of mass delation as a system of public order control, the use of violence and show trials as a means of underpinning the system with the instigation of the Terror, vestimentary changes with the adoption of simple apparel and a uniform of sorts, the outlawing of the Church and the conversion of religious edifices into buildings of public utility as well as the gradual alienation of the clergy, the emergence of the idea of the individual and even the family entity being subordinated to the idea of citizenship and the Nation. To denounce members of one's own family if necessary was to be a true Communist....

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:16 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Baron, this is yet another proof that you do not deem it necessary to read what I write. How many times shall I repeat this ??? :roll: I'd be very grateful if you made the effort to read my posts. This is all extremely tiring and discouraging, and makes me want to leave that forum, really.

I have ALWAYS said that the similarities between the Russian and the French revolutions are extremely well-known, to the point that the historian François Furet asserted that the real end of the French revolution was ... in 1917. Read my posts pleace, and you'll find the confirmation that I have always written that, so there is no need for silly statements about the fact that I try to convince myself of something. I's completely ridiculous and I wonder if you are not pulling my leg, as it is obvious I am writing the same thing over and over again. Anyway, that was another pointless and provocative comment on your side. Chassez le naturel, il revient au gallop.

There is no denying that Lenin always related his action to the Terror and the Commune. And by the way, the "day of the Parisian Commune" is a well-known celebration in Russia, whereas it has been forgotten already in France.

The central idea is the idea of "regeneration", as Mona Ozouf underlines it in her dictionnary of the French revolution. In the French and Communist revolution, there was an attempt to re-create the society on completely new basis, a purer society, as opposed to the corrupted Ancient Regime, hence the endless comparisons with the Romans. The Communist phrase "Du passé faisons table rase" sums it up. And indeed, this attempt to create a new individual meant invading people's privacy, curtailing the rights to take part in associations etc.

However, the comparison shall not be completely exagerated, given that the French leaders were in fact opposed to what we would now consider as the communist ideas. The Jacobins were far from being communists, they were rather on the bourgeois side, and Robespierre was in favour of private property. The law of the maximum targeted only speculation on wheat and was by no mean meant to curb the economic inequalities.

The "enragés" were in fact Hébert, who was enventually done away with, and the "complot des égaux" led by Babeuf was a failure. This is why, for the Russians at least, the French revolution was but a bourgeois one, which only protected equality before the law, and not real, economic equality.

According to Furet, there was never such thing in the US for instance. In fact the American revolution boiled down to claiming the rights the Americans were deprived of (i.e "no taxation without representation), thus legitimizing the original form of the British regime, same for the existence of a monarch. The regime in itself was not criticized, what was criticized was the fact that the Americans were denied the same rights as the Britons.

I have always agreed that the British and American democracies are very different to the French one, which brought about the general citicism levelled at the French : i.e that they are overly theoretical.

What I disagree with is the way you present things constantly resorting to clichés about the mentalities of differents people : the Russians are like this, the Britons are like that, the French were invaded by the Germans because they were quite happy with it, there was no lynching in England because the Britons are nicer, so on and so on. Ad nauseam. I'll never, ever agree with that. To me this is very scornful and xenophobic and I prefer to resort to political arguments. This is all the difference.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:22 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Ludy wrote:

What I disagree with is the way you present things constantly resorting to clichés about the mentalities of differents people. These are things I shall disagree with all my life, and which, in my humble opinion, amount to racism.All this, I have written it over and over again, but never mind. Sigh.


Now that is quite an accusation and in no way backed up by what I wrote!

We really do go round in circles, every time I post something, however innocent, you get personal.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:22 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
:angel5:

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Last edited by Ludy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:24 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
I do think that the comparison you make is extremely slapdash. The Church was not "outlawed" in France. It is true that Notre Dame was, for a short period of time, transformed into a temple devoted to the reason, but the original aim was not to do away with religion in itself. Robespierre loathed atheism, and the cult of the Supreme being was but an extremist attempt to create a new form of religion. Like Bonaparte, he believed religion was essential in any human society -and contrary to the Communists, who believed it was a threat. Even Hébert, an extremist, was not completely an atheist and prone to defend faith, when it suited its interests.

In fact, there is, more likely than not, a continuity with the Ancien Regime and the gallicalism, in the sense that the original purpose was to create a French church and not to abolish Christianity ! Martineau underlined it : the belief was not targeted, the aim was to create a French church, independent from the Pope. This was of course unacceptable for the Clergy, since the bishops were from now on to be created by the State and not by the Pope. But faith was not targeted.

Robespierre was, in fact, not an atheist at all, and was keen to take up the cudgels for christianity : he merely abhored the Clergy, and Louis XVI also did. In fact, the religious policy of the Revolutionnaries is to me more redolent of the Ancien Régime than it is of the Communists and the Nazi, who by the way also clamped down on Catholicism.


About delation and terrorist means resorted to by the Revolution, it was not the first time such means were used. What to say about Savonarole and other extremist leaders before the Revolution ? What to say about the war of Religions in France ? It is not as if delation suddenly emerged out of the blue : it is sadly an infamous social practice. If anything, one of the period when this practice was resorted to with the greated zeal was the Vichy period in France ! And the Vichy regime was anything but pro-Revolution : Pétain was rather on the conservative side, close to the Royalists. So delation is not specific to the Revolution.


So ... what ? In fact what remains is the state run terrorism and the creation of a vague definition of the public enemies. All the rest : private property, religion is at odds with such a comparison.


To me, there is not so much a similarity between the two revolutions as a free interepreation of the French revolution by a few Communists, who thought they were indeed walking in the steps of their French counterparts and completing their work. Their theory was that the French revolution remained a "bourgeois" one, and that the Communist one was its logical continuity. But this is only an interepretation ! In fact, most of the revolutionnary leaders were at odds with any form of communism, and the greatest obsession, as soon as the Revolution started was to put an end to it, which Bonaparte eventually did, by restoring the principle of private property. This principle will never be denied in France, contrary to Russia. Private property is so utterly central in France that the article 544 of the Civil code goes so far as to committig a famous grammatical mistake to empasize that ! :lol:

To me, the similarities do exist (the aim to re-create society from scratch) but the differences are overwhelming.

And about the Russians singing French songs, well, there is no doubt they clamoured for a continuity with the French Revolution. Any Revolution needs a legitimization. Besides was there any other example of a European revolution anyway ? The Glorious revolution in England ? Hardly an appropriate example for a Communist ! :lol: One must not forget as well that the French culture was very appreciated in Russia, where the elite, even at the end of the XIX century spoke French fluently, as well as other languages, such as English and German. Lenin himself lived in Paris and spoke French. They were very well versed in the French culture, so there is no wonder they resorted to examples taken from the French history. It does not mean that their theories are accurate.

The Russians have always been more keen to take their cues from other nations because of that famous feeling that their culture is somehow "retarded" by comparison with Western Europe. They are extremely "xenophile" if I dare say and eager to accept foreign influence and foreign patterns, which never was the case in France -and I say that with no appraisal at all on what is right or wrong. France is more culturally closed and reluctant to foreign influence, in my book. The most striking example is the language, and how the French identity is so tightly linked to the French language. When you know that about the half of War and Peace was written in French, it speaks volume about the Russian permeability to foreign influence, for the best or worse by the way. Let me take a French example : Baudelaire. He mastered English so flawlessly that he translated Shakespeare, thus making this author popular again in France. Do you imagine him writing his poems in this language ? This could never happen. The French have taken their cues from other nations, of course : the Human rights were in fact written in England and in the US long before the Revolutionnaries came up with their own declaration. It is natural of course -all nations influence each other. But the French will never openly admit it, and they will never openly welcome any foreign influence whatsoever.


This feeling is constant througout Russian history : there is always a will to "catch up with" the Western world, followed by a sulking retreat after a military defeat for instance (notably the Cimea war, and more recently the collapse of USSR, which is indeed a defeat). So their claim that they were modelling themselves on the French is not, to me, different to Ivan the Terrible Peter the Great's and Boris Eltsin's radical reforms, which were alledgedly inspired by the West, but in fact very Russian in their methods and purposes. Whatever their claims, the Russian revolution remains a Russian one.

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Last edited by Ludy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:28 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
There will be no reply on this one. As usual ! :lol:

Excellent method : start the same discussion over and over again, with the very same arguments, pretend that you nailed it and that you do not remember what others wrote, auto-congratulate your posts and assert confidently that everybody changed his/her mind and now agree with you, and bow out when one comes up with well-researched and well-founded arguments you cannot possibly respond to. Oh and don't forget to say that you are the victim of a personal attack to justify your bow-out !!! :lol: :lol:

I should definitely try that, instead of stupidly admitting to being ignorant of something or being wrong.


I am still waiting for the quote about the vote of women during the Ancien Régime by the way !

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:20 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
I do in fact wholeheartedly disagree with your strangely sweeping assertions! :lol:

Ludy wrote:

Besides, I do think that the comparison you make is extremely slapdash. The Church was not "outlawed" in France. It is true that Notre Dame was, for a short period of time, transformed into a temple devoted to the reason, but the original aim was not to do away with religion in itself.

So do you deny that churches nationwide were decommisioned all over France and turned in to storage places and other public usage?! What about St Geneviève which was made into some freaky altar to the reolutionary creed called the Panthéon, and still is today? Or St Merri which was used as a gunpowder storage barn?! And priests were not defrocked? Why did Napoléon have to re-open churches to the cult if they had never been closed?!

It is so infuriating, this goody two shoes know it all way you have of asserting eternal Ludy truths that are completely false and that contradict all anyone else has ever read on the subject! Like Marie Antoinette going to the scaffold in 15 minutes in the front of a Porsche! :lol:

Ludy wrote:

in the sense that the original purpose was to create a French church and not to abolish Christianity

What the hell does that mean?!! So abolishing Christianity is not anti religious, seeing that that was France's religion? And passing from a Catholic to a lay state?

Ludy wrote:

But faith was not targeted.

Come on!))) Every book one reads states it was!! Where do you get such a statement?!

Ludy wrote:

So delation is not specific to the Revolution.

Did I say it was?!!! Quote me where!

About delation I never stated that this was peculiar to the French revolution but it was institutionalized as a by product of the Terror and this was identical in Soviet Russia. I suggest you do read Orlando Figes' 'The Whisperers' to learn the full extent of that delation system, including children about their parents. Why do you waste your time refuting something which is obvious or putting words in my mouth? I state the truth about delation in the two systems and never said it didn't happen elsewhere! I don't see your point!

Ludy wrote:

But this is only an interpretation ! In fact, most of the revolutionnary leaders were at odds with any form of communism,


But the revolutionary leaders never spoke of communism!! Marx hadn't written his famous red book yet! The revolution did however requisition property, and the emigrants had great difficulty in getting their deeds of title recognized when they came back! I was talking about the revolution, you mention Bonaparte restoring the right of property. Are you comparing the Directory and first Empire with the Russian revolution or the French revolution and the Russian revolution? Because I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE LATTER!

Ludy wrote:

One must not forget as well that the French culture was very appreciated in Russia, where the elite, even at the end of the XIX century spoke French fluently, as well as other languages, such as English and German

Do you think you are telling me something I wasn't already aware of there? :lol:

Finally I agree with you on the Russian need to turn to the West for influence, but this is much the case since Peter the Great and the foundation of St Petersburg than it ever was before when the court was in Moscow and Russia looked more to its Eastern roots....boyars etc

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Last edited by baron de batz on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:52 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
By the way you got your answer and more than you bargained for so don't taunt me the next time! :wink:

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
My point is that the Civil constitution of the Clergy did not aim at abolishing faith in itselft, as Martineau pointed out its report. The aim was to detach the Church from the Pope, and this is why Napoleon eventually reached a concordat with the Pope, with a more moderate solution, but nontheless the same ground that the COnsitution civile du Clergé.


I think we should envision the COnsitution civile du Clergé in a broader perspective, which starts from the gallicalism. This will of the French crown to gain autonomy was expressed under Louis XV by the ousting of the Jésuites.

The religiosity of Robespierre is expressed in many of his speeches, as well as Hébert's, who took up the cudgels for faith and saw Jesus as the supporter of the underpriviledged. They were very few atheists among the revolutionnaries, they were mainly deists.

As for the cult of the Supreme being, it never gained much popularity. I believe it was an attempt to create a type of republican religion, but detached from a catholic background that would have subdued France to the Pope. It failed and this is why Bonaparte backdowned and returned to a more traditional vision of religion.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:04 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
baron de batz wrote:



But the revolutionary leaders never spoke of communism!! Marx hadn't written his famous red book yet! The revolution did however requisition property, and the emigrants had great difficulty in getting their deeds of title recognized when they came back! I was talking about the revolution, you mention Bonaparte restoring the right of property. Are you comparing the Directory and first Empire with the Russian revolution or the French revolution and the Russian revolution? Because I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE LATTER!



I do not understand. Read my post again and come up with an appropriate answer. Thank you.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
:mrgreen: 8)

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Last edited by Ludy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
You have not answered my questions! And the documented acts of the revolutionary leaders seem to contradict these religious beliefs you claim they held!

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
baron de batz wrote:

Finally I agree with you on the Russian need to turn to the West for influence, but this is much the case since Peter the Great and the foundation of St Petersburg than it ever was before when the court was in Moscow and Russia looked more to its Eastern roots....boyars etc


I disagree, Ivan the Terrible made the first attempt to westernize Russia and precsisely clamped down on the boyars through the system of opritshina. Obviously, Peter the Great went even further than that, which is logical as he came afterwards.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
baron de batz wrote:
You have not answered my questions! And the documented acts of the revolutionary leaders seem to contradict these religious beliefs you claim they held!



The revolutionnaries, according to me, were mainly deists and not atheist. They were against the Clergy. But obviously, for a Catholic person, when you target the Church you target the faith. But this was not their original aim.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
baron de batz wrote:
I do in fact wholeheartedly disagree with your strangely sweeping assertions! :lol:



So do you deny that churches nationwide were decommisioned all over France and turned in to storage places and other public usage?! What about St Geneviève which was made into some freaky altar to the reolutionary creed called the Panthéon, and still is today? Or St Merri which was used as a gunpowder storage barn?! And priests were not defrocked? Why did Napoléon have to re-open churches to the cult if they had never been closed?!



No all churches were not submitted to this.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:11 pm
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